'Stock Their Lockers' program giving away school supplies for fa - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

'Stock Their Lockers' program giving away school supplies for families in need

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

It's a one-of-a-kind program for students in some Hamilton County schools that allows families to go back-to-school shopping without paying for any of the supplies.

Channel 3 takes a look at how one back-to-school program is helping students who need it the most, just in time for the new school year.

Stock Their Lockers is a school supply assistance program that allows children to "shop" for all of their back to school needs.

If you walk inside the store at The Samaritan Center you'll find Phyllis Chestnutt getting ready for the first day of school.

"About this time of year I always have gotten ready for school," Chestnutt said, "And after retiring I feel like I'm getting ready for school again!"
    
Chestnutt is a retired Hamilton County school teacher and during her 30 years in the classroom she learned how much it takes to help children be ready to learn.

"You could tell by talking to the children that they were embarrassed that they weren't prepared," Chestnutt said.

Students get to fill their backpacks with about $200 worth of school supplies that come directly from their teacher's supply list.

"School supplies are expensive, and the lists are long," said Social Services Director Sharon Smith-Hensley.

most of the students get to pick out their own supplies based on the colors and styles they like best.

"One little boy was looking for a Michael Jordan backpack and he was wearing Michael Jordan tennis shoes," Chestnutt said, "And he was so excited when we had one!"

The Samaritan Center gave away close to 300 backpacks last year and this year, they would like to see even more families inside the store.

"I'm sorry there is a need, but we're here to meet that need," Smith-Hensley said, "We're not just handing them a bag of generic supplies but we're giving them 90-95 percent of the stuff that they need that's actually on the school supply list."

The Stock Their Lockers give away is available for families in financial need, call The Samaritan Center to see if you qualify at (423) 238 - 7777.

The last day to fill up a backpack is August 17th, for more information click here.

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